Our commitment to addressing anti-Black racism

June 18, 2020

Over the last few weeks, we’ve watched the protests and outrage in the US, brought on by the killing of yet another unarmed Black man by the police. The world is on fire, again, as people demonstrate their disappointment, anger and frustration with the broken systems that allow racism to persist, with its most extreme expressions causing the death of black- and brown-skinned people. 

Anti-black racism, systemic racism, is not exclusive to the US. It’s here in Canada too, where young Black males are nearly twice as likely as other young males to not be in employment, education or training (NEET). Where 13% of Black Canadians, compared to 6% of their non-Black counterparts, reported experiencing discrimination at work or in the context of a hiring process.[1] Where Indigenous youth face the intergenerational effects of colonization, a lack of education infrastructure, discrimination and barriers to accessing education, employment and training.[2]

We have work to do here and that’s why we, at the Canadian Council for Youth Prosperity (CCYP), are committing to taking concrete actions. Now is the time to act, and act boldly.

CCYP is about improving the youth workforce development sector. Better employment outcomes for youth is our reason for being. We want to get young people who are the furthest away from employment, closer and into employment that is decent, meaningful and has room for them to grow. We want to contribute to the prosperity of youth.

Now is the time for all of us to be bold in challenging broken systems. As we add our voice to the many who are committed to ending systemic, anti-Black and anti-Indigenous racism, we want to be clear with our declaration of action and ground our commitments in youth workforce development.  We commit to the following actions:

  1. Creating and maintaining a Board and Council that is diverse and reflective of the target beneficiaries of our work.

  2. Advocating for the collection of race-based data on employment outcomes, including retention and wages.

  3. Advocating for accountability in leadership on actions to dismantle systemic racism within the youth workforce development sector.

  4. Advocating for and supporting anti-oppression and equity training for practitioners and employers with a stake in the sector.

  5. Advocating for and supporting mental health and trauma services and supports for young people.

  6. Advocating for career education and employment services that acknowledge racial disparities and actively work towards effectively meeting the employment needs of Black and Indigenous youth.

 

We will report on these commitments annually.

 

Changing systems is slow and challenging work. It requires introspection, tough conversations and actions that shift power dynamics. We are committed to this work.

 

As we, the CCYP, announce our commitments, we invite other organizations in the youth workforce development ecosystem to join us in walking our talk.  If you’d like to join forces with us for good, please reach out to us at info@ccyp-ccpy.org.

 

With full support and commitment,

The Canadian Council for Youth Prosperity

[1] StatCan, https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/pub/75-006-x/2020001/article/00002-eng.htm

[2] 13 Ways to Modernize Youth Employment in Canada: Strategies for a New World of Work (2017), https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/corporate/youth-expert-panel/report-modern-strategies-youth-employment

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